Event Abstract

Feature-binding and attention are reflected in human EEG gamma-band oscillations

  • 1 Carl-von-Ossietzky Universität, Germany

To study the neuronal mechanism of feature-binding, participants were presented different types of dot patterns (Glass patterns) that either could be bound into a coherent figure or could not. EEG was recorded from participants who were naive about the pattern types and performed a demanding discrimination task on the color of the patterns. Following the experiment, the degree to which participants perceived the global visual structure was assessed. Early gamma-band responses (GBRs, 25–80 Hz) over occipital, parietal, and central areas were enhanced to circular Glass patterns as compared to random dot patterns at 90 ms post-stimulus. This effect was observed exclusively in participants who were subjectively aware of the global pattern structure, indicating that GBRs reflect the mechanism of feature-binding. It has been proposed that GBRs also reflect mechanisms of attention. In a further study, we directly compared attentional mechanisms with feature-binding. Here, participants had to perceive so-called Kanizsa figures in which the elements of the figure could either be bound together to a coherent object or control figures where this was not possible. In addition, participants had to attend to one out of four figures and give a different response than to the other three. In different experimental sessions, the attended figure could either be a Kanizsa figure or a control figure. It turned out that attending to a figure modulated the GBRs more strongly than did feature-binding. We conclude that GBRs reflect different aspects of perceptual processing that are important for stimulus selection and recognition.

Keywords: Electroencephalogram, feature-binding, gamma-band oscillations

Conference: XI International Conference on Cognitive Neuroscience (ICON XI), Palma, Mallorca, Spain, 25 Sep - 29 Sep, 2011.

Presentation Type: Symposium: Oral Presentation

Topic: Symposium 1: Neural mechanisms of feature integration in object perception

Citation: Herrmann CS (2011). Feature-binding and attention are reflected in human EEG gamma-band oscillations. Conference Abstract: XI International Conference on Cognitive Neuroscience (ICON XI). doi: 10.3389/conf.fnhum.2011.207.00014

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Received: 03 Nov 2011; Published Online: 08 Nov 2011.

* Correspondence: Dr. Christoph S Herrmann, Carl-von-Ossietzky Universität, Oldenburg, Germany, christoph.herrmann@uni-oldenburg.de